Rob Zombie: “you don’t have to be a rock god to start a band”

LA Weekly Rob Zombie interview

Hope you are all enjoying the Mayhem experience this year! Here’s an interview Rob Zombie recently conducted with the Patriot Ledger, before his headlining appearance at Mansfield on Tuesday, July 16. In the interview he talks about his love of music, White Zombie, directing films and a lot more besides.

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To read an extract of the interview 

First Rob Zombie was a rock star. Then he was a rock star filmmaker.

He formed and sang in the roaring, throbbing band White Zombie. That was in 1985. Then he convinced Hollywood to let him write and direct the grisly and darkly comic horror movie “House of 1,000 Corpses.” That was in 2003. Many albums with White Zombie and as a solo act followed, the most recent of which was this year’s “Venomous Rat Regeneration Vendor.” As did many horror films, the most recent of which was this year’s “The Lords of Salem.”

But when Zombie, then still known as Rob Cummings, was growing up in Haverhill, Mass., there were no thoughts of either music or movies as a career.

“I just played hockey. That’s all I cared about,” he said by phone from San Bernardino, Calif., where he’s rehearsing for a tour.

“I’ve loved music since I was a little kid,” he said. “The first concert I ever went to was Tiny Tim. I was so young, I remember going, but I don’t remember anything about it. I don’t think I even understood what was happening. But I really discovered music in kindergarten, watching ‘The Monkees’ and ‘The Partridge Family’ on TV. But, later, when you’re a teenager, and loving Led Zeppelin and Alice Cooper and Kiss, it just doesn’t seem like something you can actually do. It seems like these people were from another planet. It wasn’t till the early ’80s, when I started listening to the Dead Kennedys and punk rock, that it seemed more like you could do it. Like you don’t have to be a rock god to start a band.”

His first band was White Zombie. The first bill White Zombie ever played was at New York’s CBGB in 1985. But though the band saw a great deal of success, Zombie was already thinking ahead.

“I had also always loved movies,” he said. “I wanted to make movies more than music. But again, how do you make movies? I don’t know. Now everyone can make a movie on their iPhone. But back then I didn’t know what it took. So when it came time to make music videos for White Zombie, I said, ‘OK, I’m gonna direct the videos, and cut my teeth on that.’ After doing that for many, many years, that led to the first film.”

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